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Point-of-Care Testing: Principles, Practice, and Critical-Emergency-Disaster Medicine

Clinical Chemistry

  1. Gerald J. Kost,
  2. Nam K. Tran,
  3. Richard F. Louie

Published Online: 29 SEP 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0540.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Kost, G. J., Tran, N. K. and Louie, R. F. 2008. Point-of-Care Testing: Principles, Practice, and Critical-Emergency-Disaster Medicine. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 SEP 2008


Point-of-care testing (POCT) is defined as testing at or near the site of patient care, wherever that medical care is needed. The goal of POCT is to facilitate immediate evidence-based medical decisions that improve patient outcomes and reduce patient acuity, criticality, morbidity, and mortality, especially during life-threatening crises and emergency resuscitations. POCT is efficient and efficacious because it facilitates rapid diagnosis, faster treatment decisions, high-quality trend monitoring, and patient and physician satisfaction. New point-of-care (POC) technologies are appearing rapidly. This article summarizes principles and analytical methods of whole-blood analysis (WBA) for chemistry, hematology, and hemostasis analytes, cardiac injury markers, and other POC diagnostic tests. Then, the article discusses important clinical aspects, including test clusters and medical indications, methods of monitoring and enhancing performance, and optimization strategies. In the next two decades, diagnostic testing will continue to shift to the POC, necessitating collaborative integration, information consolidation, and Knowledge Optimization® in surgery, intensive care, emergency medicine, public health, and other settings extending from the acute care center to the patient's home.